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Eastern Water Skink (in Sydney's NW)

Eulamprus quoyii


With close to 1,300 species, skinks are the largest family of lizards (Scincidae) in the world. There are 389 species of skink in Australia. This is about half of our lizard species. It's a medium sized stocky long-tailed skink, coloured dark brown to olive above and cream to white underneath. The tail is usually olive green. It has obvious external ear hole. It has a sleek body and short legs, and can grow up to 30cms, tail included. It feeds on other lizards, freshwater shrimp, and insects (aquatic and land).


The Eastern Water Skink is usually found close to or on the shore of slow flowing creeks and estuaries, hence its name. Although, the skink is not restricted to areas near freshwater, it is frequently found in somewhat dry environments, including sandstone outcroppings and savanna. The distribution of the Eastern Water Skink ranges from southern Victoria to central Queensland. This fellow (pictured) is living in a moist hollow on the edge of a garden path


I spent a good couple of hours crawling around on my hands and knees trying to take these photos. This skink was quite shy and very quick, so I needed to travel by stealth and position myself in various locations... and wait! It was also a bright and sunny day, so the contrast between sunshine and shadow was extreme. I think I got a couple of good photos, and I'm quite amazed at how beautiful these skinks are close-up. The difference between large lizards and small is only a matter of size. Every other reptilian characteristic they share is the same, and the primary photo in this series is proof. For a little guy, he is a monster!

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1 Comment

StephenSolomons 11 years ago

wonderful angle on that first shot

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

New South Wales, Australia

Spotted on Feb 26, 2012
Submitted on May 2, 2013

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